Germany: A draft law to counter hate speech would threaten freedom of expression

The German affiliates of the European Federation of Journalists, the Deutscher Journalisten-verband (DJV) and Dju in ver.di criticized the adoption of the Network Enforcement Law („Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz”) by the German Federal Cabinet on April 5, 2017, supposed to be adopted by the German Bundestag in the summer. Dju in ver.di issued a statement on April 5: “Even if we strongly reject the use of fake news and hate speech in social networks, in case of doubt, the deletion of such content is not the right response,” said Cornelia Haß, national director of dju in ver.di. “Freedom of expression and diversity of opinions are fundamental to our…

German daily “Die Welt” correspondent in Turkey arrested!

UPDATE (28.02.2017): Deniz Yücel was jailed pending trial on terrorism related charges on Monday 27 February 2017. German daily Die Welt correspondent in Turkey Deniz Yücel was taken into custody on 14 February following reports on Turkish Minister of Energy Albayrak’s hacked emails. Mr Yücel, who holds both Turkish and German citizenship, is accused of being a member of a terrorist organisation, spreading propaganda and misusing information, charges refuted by the defendant as well as media organisations. Since the end of December, six other journalists working for Turkish news outlets have been arrested supposedly in connection to the RedHack leaks.…

German journalists concern over media concentration due to newspapers takeover

Journalists and their unions in Germany expressed concerns over the sale of newspaper Donaukurier to the larger publishing house Passauer Neue Presse (PNP). The Bavarian Journalists’ Association, a member of the German Federation of Journalists (DJV) warned that the deal will result in further media concentration and uncertainty for the journalists  working at both Donaukurier and PNP. In response to this development, the journalists’ unions in Germany including DJV, (dju) in ver.di and BJV will organise a protest on Saturday 24 November in the Passauer Fußgängerzone, Bahnhofstr. 2-4 (in the City Gallery). The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) supports the action…

TGS elects its youngest president with a gender balanced board

Journalists Union of Turkey has elected the youngest president of his history during its 21th General Meeting. The equal gender balance at the new TGS board is maintained with an age average of 35 years. EFJ-IFJ and DJV (Germany) representatives shared solidarity messages at the General Meeting and met with banned media representatives. Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) organised its 21th Ordinary General Meeting, chaired by Canan Onurer (President of Basin-Sen in Cyprus), in Istanbul on 8 and 9 October 2016 with the participation of members, delegates and international guests. The General Meeting elected Gökhan Durmus (former TGS Istanbul Branch) at 33 years…

Germany: The BND draft law must protect journalists

The European Federations of Journalists (EFJ), along with its German affiliates – the Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV) and the DeutscheJournalistinnen- und Journalisten-Union in ver.di (dju in ver.di) – urges the German Bundestag to back off on the revision of the Bundesnachrichtendienst –BND law, following the strong opposition of many media organisations and the OSCE. The draft law foresees to increase BND’s capabilities to spy on non-EU citizens outside of Germany. No exemption is made for foreign journalists or editorial offices outside the European Union: they would be subjected to surveillance without an explicit court order. This law would legitimise a practice…

A silent problem: 4 stories on the threat of (self-)censorship

Hungary It all started with a simple question. Janos Karpati, then Brussels correspondent for the Hungarian national newswire, didn’t think it would terminate his longtime career when he addressed the Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban at a press conference at the fringes of the European Parliament’s plenary meeting in Strasbourg. Orban had come to Strasbourg to speak about migration – and his widely-criticized comment on reinstating the death penalty. Karpati, an experienced correspondent who has worked in Prague and Washington, DC, asked Orban about Fidesz’ position within the European People’s Party, a question he hadn’t cleared with anyone beforehand. He…

Self-censorship is affecting more and more European media

I can’t write that, it seems that more and more European journalists are saying this sentence to themselves when working for a media outlet. The refugee crisis, the Cologne attacks, the Panama papers or the new French surveillance law are some recent examples of sensitive topics that raised the question of self-censorship among journalists. The Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit in co-operation with the EFJ organised an event (02/05/2016) in Brussels to discuss how self-censorship affects journalists’ reporting in the European media industry.  The debate was moderated by EFJ Director Renate Schroeder, who at the outset drew the meeting’s attention to a comprehensive quantitative…

Germany prosecutes a comedian on Turkey’s request

The DJV (Deutscher Journalisten-Verband) and Dju in ver.di (Deutsche Journalistinnen und Journalisten Union in ver.di) (EFJ affiliates in Germany) critised today (15/04/2016) the declaration of German Prime Minister Angela Merkel regarding the request of the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to file a criminal complaint against Germany’s most popular comedian Jan Böhmermann. “This decision of the Chancellor would not have been necessary because the Turkish President Erdogan has already filed a criminal complaint with the public prosecutor in Mainz” DJV Chairman Frank Überall said. Ms Merkel had previously announced that the German Federal Government would give an authorization to prosecute…

Germany shall drop investigation against journalists over treason

updated (04/08/2015): Latest on netzpolitik treason scandal: German Justice Minister Heiko Maas effectively sacks Federal Prosecutor Harald Range. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European organisation, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), have today called on the German government to immediately drop the investigation launched against two journalists, Andre Meister and Markus Beckedahl, over suspicion of treason. Following widespread criticism of the decision, the German prosecutor General Harald Range said on Friday that he was suspending the investigation, pending external expertise, “for the good of press and media freedom”. However, the IFJ and the EFJ are demanding that charges be…

Germany shall drop investigation against journalists over treason

updated (04/08/2015): Latest on netzpolitik treason scandal: German Justice Minister Heiko Maas effectively sacks Federal Prosecutor Harald Range. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European organisation, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), have today called on the German government to immediately drop the investigation launched against two journalists, Andre Meister and Markus Beckedahl, over suspicion of treason. Following widespread criticism of the decision, the German prosecutor General Harald Range said on Friday that he was suspending the investigation, pending external expertise, “for the good of press and media freedom”. However, the IFJ and the EFJ are demanding that charges be…

German journalists oppose data retention rules for violating professional secrecy

Journalists’ organisations in Germany are opposing the government’s proposal to allow telecommunication companies, social networking sites and online messaging services to hand over private data to the authorities for national security purposes. The affiliates of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV) and Deutsche Journalistinnen- und Journalisten-Union (dju) in ver.di are calling their government to stop the draft law that would violate the fundamental rights of journalists to protect confidential sources, as well as the privacy rights of many citizens. The EFJ backed its affiliates by joining the call on the German government to withdraw the draft law…

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